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New Caledonia (New Caledonian Recipes)

World Cuisine Recipes

   New Caledonia cuisine is light, original and offers a large variety of dishes. It evolved in relation to the colonial history and particular features of the islands. Basically French it has been strongly influenced by other cuisines mostly Asian and Polynesian. As for any French people, New Caledonian like good meals.
   In the bush dear and to a lesser extent, wild pigs, are the basic meats. Dear meat has a low fat content, is cooked fresh, well done and not as venison. Local beef is very tasty and has never been affected by the mad cow desease. Fish and mud crabs are often served. Coconut milk tends to replace cream. Rice is an essential part at all meals, it is used to replace bread. Bananas, taros and other roots are eaten boiled or steamed rather than fried. Soy sauce is everywhere, on meats and fish, vegetables and even rice. The "Kikkoman" soy sauce bottle is on every table. Cheeses are, or were seldom served at lunch and diner but are often part of breakfast. Cooking is most often done with oil and seldom with butter or animal fats. However since the 70's development of air transport and the high income have triggered a return of Metropolitan French habits with an increasing amount of butter, cream, cheeses and salamis now available in all stores. Of course, in a tropical place, there are also the spices and particular the small very hot pepers which grow in all gardens.
Boiled Yam in Coconut Milk
Servings: 4
2 cups diluted coconut cream ( from 2 coconuts)
8 pieces of yam ( about 5 oz. or 150 g each)
16 taro or slippery edible hibiscus (bele) leaves
Cooking Instructions:
Prepare coconut cream. Peel yams and chop into average size pieces. Fill up pot with yam pieces until they fill about three-quaters of the pot. Pour in coconut cream. Cover with taro leaves before putting the lid on. Boil for 30-45 minutes or until yams are cooked. Serve hot as a breakfast dish.
Breadfruit and Beef Stew

1/2 cup flour
Salt to taste
1/2 kg (1 lb) beef
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup dried breadfruit
1 cup pumpkin, chopped
2 cups green leafy vegetables
Cooking Instructions:
Mix flour and salt. Cut up meat into small pieces. Add the flour mixture, mixing until well coated. Heat cooking oil in a large pot. Add the coated meat and brown. When the meat is almost brown, add chopped onion. Stir occasionally until browned. Add water. Cover and cook until meat is tender, about 30 minutes. Add breadfruit that has been soaked in water for 10 minutes, pumpkin, and green leafy vegetables. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Caledonian Brunch Casserole
Servings: 8
16 slices white bread, with crusts removed
Bacon or ham, sliced thinly
Sharp cheddar cheese
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2-1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 cup minced onions
1/4 cup green peppers, finely chopped (optional)
1-2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups whole milk
1 dash red pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco)
1/4 lb butter
Special K cereal or corn flakes, crushed
Cooking Instructions:
In a 9" x 13" buttered glass baking dish, put 8 pieces of bread, and add pieces to cover dish entirely. Cover bread with slices of back bacon or ham- it's best if your meat is about the size of the bread slice, for ease of cutting after it's cooked. Lay slices of cheddar cheese on top of bacon and then cover with slices of bread to make it like a sandwich. In a bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper. To the egg mixture add dry mustard, onion, green pepper, Worcestershire sauce, milk and Tabasco, and then pour over the sandwiches. Cover and let stand in fridge overnight. In the morning, melt ¼ lb. Butter, and pour over the top. Cover with crushed Special K or corn flakes and bake, uncovered for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. It's very nice served with fresh, chopped fruit.
Curried Chicken

1 Chicken
2 Onions
5 Tomatoes
5 Tablespoons of curry powder
1 tin of coconut milk
Salt and pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Cut the chicken into pieces. Put the chicken pieces in the microwave oven for 5 minutes at maximum power. Remove the skin of the chicken. Finely chop the onions. Fry the onions and chicken in a saucepan. Hull the tomatoes and chop them into small dices. When the chicken is browned add tomatoes, curry powder and coconut milk. Add salt and pepper and simmer until quantity has reduced. Sprinkle with thinly-sliced green onions.
Fish Salad with Soy Sauce

1.5 kg of fish fillet
20-30 small green lemons (the juice should cover the fish)
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of green onions
1 hot chilli pepper or more to taste
Soy sauce to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Dice the fish fillets. Put them in bowl and cover with lemon juice. Allow to marinate for 1/2 hour in the refrigerator. Drain and press the fish between your hands and put it back in the bowl. Dice tomatoes finely, chop the green onions, put the whole in the bowl. Add the soy sauce, hot pepper, salt (careful, the soy sauce already makes it salty), pepper, stir and put in the refrigerator. Serve well chilled.
Hot-Smoked Salmon with Mango and Avocado Salsa
Servings: 4
250 g (9oz) hot smoked salmon
For the salsa:
1 ripe avocado
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
Red onion, finely chopped
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped into 1cm (½ in) dice
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
Freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice and grated zest of 1 lime
To serve:
100 g (4 oz) baby salad leaves, iceberg lettuce or purslane
1 teaspoon olive oil
Lemon juice
Herb oil, optional
Balsamic syrup, optional
Cooking Instructions:
To make the salsa, halve the avocado and remove the stone. Halve again and remove the skin before chopping it into 1cm (½ in) chunks. Place in a mixing bowl and add the chilli, coriander, red onion, mango, fish sauce, a pinch of salt and the lime juice and zest. Mix well and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes, to allow the flavours to develop. Lightly dress the salad leaves in the teaspoon of olive oil, a small squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of seasoning.
   To serve in the formal way, set a 7.5 cm (3 in) scone cutter or food ring in the centre of each plate. Flake the salmon into large pieces and, using about 85 g (3 oz) per ring, press into the base of each ring, banking it up the sides of the ring so that it will hold. Spoon the salsa on top of the salmon and press down lightly. The towers are ideal for preparing in advance; simply prepare to this stage and place on a tray in the fridge until needed. When ready to serve, remove the ring carefully and garnish with a handful of the lightly dressed salad leaves. Drizzle round the herb oil and the balsamic syrup, if using. To serve informally, flake the salmon and divide between the serving plates. Place some salsa alongside the fish and drizzle round the herb oil and balsamic syrup, if using. Serve with the salad in a bowl on the side.
Papaya and Coconut Pudding
Servings: 10
1 1/2 cups pawpaw pulp
7 tablespoons cornflour or cassava flour
1 1/2 cups thin coconut cream
Cooking Instructions:
To prepare the pawpaw pulp, peel the pawpaw and remove the seeds. Chop the pawpaw into small pieces, press it through a medium sieve or mash with a fork, then measure. Gradually stir in the cornflour or cassava flour. Cook over a low heat , stirring all the time, until the mixture thickens. Add coconut cream and cook 5-10 minutes. Pour into a deep dish and chill, if possible.
Pineapple and Fish Balls
Servings: 7
750 g ( 1 1/2 lb ) fish, 1 small onion, chopped
1 small unripe pawpaw
1 cup pineapple pieces
1 head chinese cabbage
4 tablespoons cooking oil
Margarine or butter
1/2 inch ginger, chopped or crushed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soya sauce
1 cup water
1 dessertspoon cornflour
Salt to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Peel the pawpaw, remove seeds and cut lengthwise.Wash and chop the cabbage lengthwise Using a spoon or shell scrape the fish meat away from the bones and skin. Form into small balls.. Heat the oil, magarine or butter in a frying pan. Gently fry the fish balls until cooked.Remove from the pan. Fry the pawpaw and pineapple pieces. Add the onion, cabbage stalks and lastly the cabbage leaves. Fry until just under-cooked. Mix together the sugar, soya sauce, water and cornflour. Add to the vegetables and stir continuously until it boils. Add fish balls and stir.
Pork Fillet with Ham and Sage
Servings: 4
450 g (1 lb) pork fillet
Freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices Parma ham, halved
16 fresh sage leaves
Plain white flour, seasoned, for dusting
1 tablespoon olive oil
50 g (2 oz) butter
Buttered tagliatelle, to serve
Rocket and Parmesan salad, to serve
Lemon wedges, to serve
Cooking Instructions:
Trim the pork fillet of any fat and gristle. Slice crosswise into eight even-sized pieces. Put each piece between sheets of clingfilm, end grain facing up, and beat out thinly, use a rolling pin or a meat mallet to flatten without tearing. Season each escalope with a little pepper. Lay half a slice of ham on each escalope, put a sage leaf on top and secure through the middle of the whole lot - as if you were making a large stitch - with a cocktail stick. They are not rolled up. Dust each of the escalopes with flour on both sides. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the butter and wait until foaming. Fry the escalopes four at a time over a high heat, for 1½ minutes, sage-side down. Flip them over and fry for another 30 seconds, until golden brown and tender. Remove and keep warm while you cook the next four.
   Serve piping hot, with buttered tagliatelle and a simple rocket and Parmesan salad, and plenty of lemon to squeeze over.
Prawn in Coarse Salt

10 prawns of New Caledonia
Olive oil
Coarse salt (Gérande salt preferably)
Cooking Instructions:
Heat olive oil in a big frying pan. Fry the prawns (3 to 4 minutes). Arrange prawns on a plate and sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve hot.
Pumpkin Pudding
Servings: 10
6 medium half-ripe coconuts with good flesh inside
1/2 pumpkin, peeled and chopped
1 cup sugar
Salt to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Cut tops off coconuts. Pour out coconut water . Put aside. - Add sugar, and salt if desired, to the chopped pumpkin. Mix well with a little of the coconut water. Fill the coconut shells with mixture. Bake in an earth oven or a moderate oven ( 180C or 350F ) for about 1 hour. Cool and serve with thick coconut cream, if desired.
Stuffed Rolled Prawns with Salmon
Servings: 4
24 cooked New Caledonian prawns
6 fillets of fresh salmon
2 cloves of garlic
1 French shallot
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Cooking Instructions:
Peel and chop the garlic, shallot and basil. Shell the prawns. Roll up the shelled prawns inside a fillet of fresh salmon (if necessary, attach with wooden toothpicks). Quickly sauté the stuffed rolls in olive oil in a hot pan and season with salt and pepper. At the end of cooking, sprinkle with the chopped garlic, shallot and the basil. Decorate with some basil leaves. Serve with white rice or fresh pasta.
Sweet Patato and Pineapple Casserole
Servings: 10
4 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and sliced
2 cups cheese sauce
1 tablespoon grated coconut
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons chopped spring onions
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Salt to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Grease a baking dish. Arrange in layers, sliced pineapple, sliced sweet potato, grated coconut and spring onions. Spread cheese sauce. Repeat layers until all sweet potato and pineapple have been used. Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes.
Sweet Pork

1.5 kg round of pork
2 onions
4 tablespoons of nuoc-mam
4 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of whisky
Sugar to make liquid caramel
2 small chili peppers
1 bunch of chives
Cooking Instructions:
Remove the skin and fat from the pork (the dish will taste better), cut the pork into cubes. Boil water in a pot (add a spoonful of nuoc-mam) and add the pork. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Drain the pork. Thinly slice the onions and brown in a pan with the pork, nuoc-mam, soy sauce and whisky. Make caramel (cover 8 tablespoons or more of sugar with water and bring to the boil. As soon as the sugar begins to brown add a little water). Pour the caramel over the pork and stir. Sprinkle chopped chives over the dish and serve hot.

World Cuisine Recipes


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